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what is an effective and safe way to get rid of ants?

Original post made by noants, Midtown, on Jul 7, 2008

what is an effective and safe way to get rid of ants?

Comments (7)

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Posted by Adam Ant
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 7, 2008 at 9:16 am

I've been struggling with this lately. Ants seem to eat the strangest food. 2 nights ago, I had a tray of frosted cupcakes, and I accidentally left them out overnight. In the morning, I expected to find them covered with ants. Instead, the ants were devouring some leftover homemade guacamole. My ants love raw or cooked meat too.

It seems like the most safe way is to just make sure you have all food in plastic bags and no scraps left out.

I'm not much for safety though. I just got for about 5 bucks a big can of Grant's "Kills Ants" at Osh, and I plan on handing out some "street justice" to the next big gathering of ants I see. They also sell those outdoor traps - I would put those around your house and it might help to thin out the herds a little.
Osh also sells this ant spray that is supposedly all safe - but it has a very intense cedar smell - not unpleasant, but pretty intense.

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Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 7, 2008 at 9:36 am

I had some trouble with Ants,

1st battle:
They got too interested in the pet food bowl. I followed the trail back to the their entry point into the house, then found it on the outside. Chaulked the gap between the foundation and wood siding where they were gaining entry. Scrubbed the Ant trail inside the house and they have not been back in years.

2nd battle
My driveway is pavers set in sand. Ants found that a great place to make ant hills. I poured Grants kills Ants over the ant hills, no more ant hills. They have not been back there either.

Good Luck.

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Posted by WilliamR
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 7, 2008 at 9:50 am

For ants in the kitchen or bathroom, I use Fantastik spray cleaner.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2008 at 10:10 am

I have also found windex great for the ant problems we have had, but like someone said above, clean completely along the ant trail back to the source of entry and then outside too. Put some ant traps outside at the point of entry just in case.

Interesting on what they like. I once got a bad attack inside my laundry hamper and discovered that they loved the female underwear, both children and adult, but the rest of the laundry, including male underwear was just skirted round en route to their preferred destination. Odd, as I always thought they were looking for food and I can't see that this a food source, unless the male worker ants were confused and thought they had found a queen.

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Posted by george
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm

Richard Fagerlund, the Bug Man, offers the following:
peanut butter, jelly, and a small amount of boric acid. Look on his web site for how much boric acid (the active ingredient) to use.

He also recommended several other bases such as apple sauce, honey, etc. and lightly mix in the boric acid.

If you can't find boric acid (should be in any grocery store), use food-grade diatomaceous earth (not the commercial grade used in swimming pools)or aspartame as found in Equal or NutraSweet.

Or use 50% baking soda and and 50% powdered sugar.

Try one or all and find out which one works best for you.

Diatomaceous earth also discourages other household pests, and the food-grade variety is safe for human.

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Posted by Peter
a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2008 at 12:07 pm

I have used this method successfully:

• Ant infestation: To one cup of water, add: 1/4 cup sugar and one (1) teaspoon borax. Mix thoroughly. Pour into small containers [jar tops work well] and place near ant trails. The ants are drawn to the sugar, borax acts as a natural pesticide, and the water mixes the ingredients.

Of course, you should remove the things ants like to eat, as well

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Posted by midtown mom
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 8, 2008 at 2:49 pm

First off, keep your kitchen clean & dry.
Use ant stakes outside.

Inside, nothing works better than Orange Guard - totally non-toxic & safe. Makes your kitchen smell like a orange candle, but hey, it works. Believe me, I tried eveything. The guy @ the hardwear store suggested it to me. I'm passing on the good news to you!

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